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Impulse AS-9128

Light In The Attic
LITA 053 [CD]

Gabor Szabo
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: August 4, 1966

Gabor Szabo (g, sitar overdubbed); Jack Gregg (as Johnny Gregg) (b); Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (d).

a. (90601) Comin' Back (G. Szabo/C. Otis) - 1:55

same, except Gabor Szabo (g).

b. (90602) Sophisticated Wheels
(Gabor Szabo) - 3:52

same, except Gabor Szabo (g, sitar overdubbed).

c. (90603) Krishna (Gabor Szabo) - 3:122
d. (90604) Summertime
     (G. Gershwin/D. Heyward) - 2:28
e. (90605) Caravan
     (D. Ellington/J. Tizol/I. Mills) - 2:58
f. (90606) You Are My Sunshine (Davis/Mitchell)

Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: August 17, 1966
Gabor Szabo (g, sitar overdubbed); Bob Bushnell (g); Jack Gregg (as Johnny Gregg) (b); Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (d); Ed Shaughnessy (tabla).

g. (90607) Mizrab (Gabor Szabo) - 3:32

same, except Gabor Szabo (g, vcl, sitar overdubbed). Ed Shaughnessy out.

h. (90608) Search for Nirvana 
(Gabor & Alicia Szabo) - 2:07
i. (90609) Walking on Nails (Gabor Szabo) - 2:46

same, except Gabor Szabo (g, sitar overdubbed).

j. (90610) Paint It Black
    (M. Jagger/K. Richard) - 4:40

same, except Gabor Szabo (g).

k. (90611) Ravi (Gabor Szabo) - 2:59

same, except Gabor Szabo (g, sitar overdubbed).

l. (90612) Raga Doll (Gary McFarland) - 3:42

Note: (1) Charts for all tracks provided by Gary McFarland.  (2) Impulse master listings indicate "Comin' Back" was initially titled as "Gabor's Gabor," "Sophisticated Wheels" as "GS Modal," "Krishna" as "A" and "Ravi" as "Sitar." (3) Cover painting by Gabor Szabo.

Issues: a-e & g-l on Impulse A(S)-9128, Impulse IP-9128 [R2R], Light in the Attic LITA 053, Light in the Attic LITA 053 [CD] (issued June 2010), HMV (E) CLP(CSD)-3614. 
Singles: j (2:36 edit) & b (2:35 edit) also on Impulse 45-257 [45]. 
Samplers: a also on Impulse ASH-9272-3 titled THE DRUMS (issued 1974) (as by Bernard "Pretty" Purdie with Gabor Szabo). b also on Impulse A(S)9173 titled THE BEST OF GABOR SZABO (issued 1968), Stone (It) 9551 [CD] titled THE MOOD MOSAIC: THE HASCISCH PARTY, Motor (Ger) 564 931-2 [CD] titled MOJO CLUB VOL. 8 - LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH (issued 1999), Hitland (It) 3073172LP, Hitland (It) 3073172CD [CD] titled MONDO BOSSA O' QUATRO and Irma (It) 514711-1, Irma (It) 514711-2 titled ASIAN LOUNGE VOL. 2 (issued 2003). b & l also on Impulse (E) IMP-12412 [CD] titled CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' - JAZZ EXOTICA (issued 1999). c also on Impulse AS9204-2 and MCA 2-4155 titled GABOR SZABO: HIS GREAT HITS (issued 1971). d & g also on Boutique (Ger) 440 068 848-1, Boutique (Ger) 440 068 8484-2 [CD] titled PSYCHEDELIC JAZZ - 16 SMOKIN' TUNES and Boutique (Ger) 06007 5307428 [CD] titled PSYCHEDELIC JAZZ (JAZZ CLUB). d, g & j also on Impulse (Jap) SR 3008 titled GABOR SZABO. e also on MCA 29065 titled MEMORABILIA (issued 1982) and Impulse 314 547 963-2 [CD] titled IMPULSIVELY ELLINGTON (issued 1999). g also on Impulse (E) 5604012 [CD] titled THE IMPULSE ALBUM (issued 2000) and Impulse B0005282-02 [CD] titled IMPULSIVE! UNMIXED. g (remixed by Prefuse 73) also on Impulse B0004966-02 [CD] titled IMPULSIVE! REVOLUTIONARY JAZZ REWORKED and Pier 1 Imports B0006931-02 [CD] titled COCKTAILS. g & l also on
El (E) ACMEM148 [CD] titled SKETCH FOR SUMMER. h also on Impulse AS-9204-2 and MCA 2-4155 titled GABOR SZABO: HIS GREAT HITS (issued 1971) and Purple Lantern PL009 [CD] (?) titled ELECTRIC PSYCHEDELIC SITAR HEADSWIRLERS VOL. 9 (titled "In Search Of Nirvana"). i also on Impulse [no.?] titled HOW TO ENJOY COLLEGE ON IMPULSE, Nava Rasa NR-1001 titled JOURNEY TO A HIGHER KEY: THE BEST OF SITAR PSYCHEDLIA VOLUME 1 (issued 1998) and Family (E) 9821016 [CD] titled THE TRIP CREATED BY TIM LOVE LEE (issued 2004). j also on Impulse A(S)-9173 and Columbia (E) SMC-74551 titled THE BEST OF GABOR SZABO (issued 1968) and Command (Jap) GW-45/6 titled GOLDEN YOUNG BEAT DOUBLE DELUXE
Producer: Bob Thiele
Engineer: Rudy Van Gelder
Notes: Nat Hentoff (Impulse A(S)-9128). Doug Sheppard (Light in the Attic LITA 053 [CD]).

COVERS: "Mizrab," perhaps Gabor Szabo's finest composition, was first covered by Lee Ritenour and Oscar Castro Neves on their 1974 album UM ENCONTRO (Evento/Odeon (Br) 11.005) and the Sansara Music Band (Lars Farnlof, Bernt Rosengren, Bobo Stenson, Thomas Ostergren, Sabu Martinez) on its 1976 album PLAYS THE MUSIC OF LARS FARNLOF (Mirrors (Jap) MICD-016 [CD], Discunion (Jap) DUJ-024 [CD]) under the title "Gabor's Elephant Dance". "Mizrab" was also performed as a preface to John Coltrane's "India" in 1994 by the PSYCHEDELIC GUITAR CIRCUS (Rykodisc RCD10347 [CD]), a guitar collective featuring Henry Kaiser (el-g), Steve Kimock (el-g), Harvey Mandel (el-g); Freddie Roulette (el-lap steel g, vcl), Bob Bralove (key), Bobby Vega (b) and John Hanes (d). Their beautiful version of "Mizrab" resembles the eclectic elegance of Szabo's "Flowers and Love," featured on Steve Allen's SONGS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE and the rhythmic basis for Szabo's later performances of "Mizrab." Lee Ritenour, who Szabo once introduced to Lena Horne as a replacement, also covered the song on his August 2002 release, RIT'S HOUSE (GRP 314 589 825-2 [CD]). Dan Sperber and Luke Casey also covered "Mizrab" with unique majesty on their 2003 disc, RELAXOMATIC PROJECTIONS (Antenna (NZ) 038 (5418602) [CD]).

A brilliant, much-derided record featuring Szabo’s distinctive guitar and his overdubbed, slightly out-of-tune sitar playing. Too easily dismissed, JAZZ RAGA contains some of Szabo’s very best guitar work: enchanting single-line runs mixed with jangled chords, repetitive riffs/drones and memorable, melodic solos. The short tunes (most under four minutes each) include Szabo staples like "Mizrab" and "Comin’ Back" and bring out Szabo’s ability to effectively compress good ideas. Funk drummer Bernard Purdie contributes successfully to the percussive groove and even the odd-sounding sitar isn’t as obtrusive as is often suggested.

JAZZ RAGA finally received its due four and a half decades after the fact, when the estimable reissue label Light in the Attic Records reissued the record on vinyl and, for the first time ever, on CD in the summer of 2010. The gatefold digipak CD is a stunning presentation, maintaining the original LP's front and back cover and even the orange and black Impulse spine. Included in the set is a positively overflowing 40-page color booklet that includes unseen photos (courtesy of brother John Szabo), interviews with Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, Rudy Van Gelder, Jack Gregg and Michael Shrieve and truly brilliant liner notes by Doug Sheppard (Ugly Things, Goldmine) revealing, among other things, that Larry Coryell was intended to be part of the sessions.